Jamaica Urges UN to Renew Commitment to Reducing World Poverty


Jamaica has called on member states of the United Nations (UN) to review and renew their commitment to reducing global poverty and human degradation by 2015, by focusing more on human development.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, in his maiden address at the opening of the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday (Oct. 2), challenged the world body to live up to its obligations for development, in order to effect real change in the lives of the millions of impoverished people around the world.
“We cannot escape the fact that we live in a world characterized by high levels of underdevelopment and social degradation, a world where too many people live in dehumanizing poverty,” Dr. Baugh stated, noting that to date, commitments have not been matched by the desired implementation of the targets for meeting basic human needs, human security and sustainable development.
“It is clear that much more needs to be done if we are to achieve the development targets in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015,” he added.
Minister Baugh pointed out that with half of the timetable for the achievement of the MDGs already expired, it is imperative that the UN move beyond the simple reiteration of principles and translate commitments into action, while calling for broad-based support from developed country partners on such sensitive issues as greater market access, debt relief, private capital flows, technological transfers and improved global economic governance.
Stating that there has not been much discernable change to the global situation over the past year, the Foreign Minister urged greater focus on the “strategic objectives and vision” of maintaining international peace and security, the development of friendly relations among nations, the achievement of international cooperation in economic, social, cultural and humanitarian fields, and the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
He said against the complexities of the times, no nation can address these challenges and threats entirely on their own and must out of necessity, focus on sustained collective action and global cooperation to identify and shape a common vision and agreed objectives, going forward.
Dr. Baugh in a wide-ranging address, underlined Jamaica’s support for the implementation of a global response to climate change and combating global warming beyond 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires. He also urged the international community to do more for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which are now all too familiar with the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, which threaten the sustainable development agenda and the very existence of those member states.
On human rights, the Foreign Minister said that Jamaica was honoured to assume the chairmanship of the Third Committee, charged with the responsibility for the preservation and protection of human rights globally.
Minister Baugh also expressed gratitude on behalf of Jamaica and the CARICOM group, to member states that have so far contributed to the Permanent Memorial Account for the erection of a permanent memorial in the halls of the UN, to honour the victims of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery.
Earlier this year, Jamaica played a pivotal role in engaging the international community and civil society in marking the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade at the Special Commemorative Meeting of the UNGA.
Turning to the reform of the UN, Dr. Baugh said that change without compromise of the core provisions of the Charter, is essential.
“Let us not falter in our obligation to ensure that the organization not only remains responsive to the vast array of concerns and demands of its diverse membership but that it is able to do so without compromising the noble ideals and principles on which it was founded,” he stated.
Jamaica’s delegation to the opening of the 62nd session of the UNGA included Ambassador Raymond Wolfe, Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the UN; Ambassador Vilma McNish, Under Secretary for Multilateral Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and Angella V. Hamilton-Brown, Deputy Ambassador to the UN.

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